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As Jayben stops to take a few sips of water, PTG is about to bombard Jayben with questions so I glare at him & give him a swift kick on his shin, he stifles a cry of pain so I guess my message hit home! I do not want any interruptions to stop the flow of these revelations.
I look at Jayben & it is clear he is having difficulty in telling his story.I cannot imagine the years of torment the brothers have suffered.
I reach over & place my small hand on Jayben’s hand, which is huge but I say nothing.
My mind is racing as I recall the tall dark mysterious stranger who entered the Tea Room a few months ago & disappeared a day or so later.
On reflection he did seem purposeful but also angry.
I am suddenly aware of several tugs on my cloak.I turn my head to find Angel an inch from my left ear.
“Ask if he’s got any more brothers.....or cousins......he is quite a hunk! I’m just going to change into a nice slinky dress”.
Angel is gone before I can speak.
As I listen to the amazing story unfolding by Jayben, I am mesmerized by his size and handsomeness. Now, there's my idea of a hunk! I sidle up to Roo-Roo and whisper to her to find out if he has any other brothers or cousins that look as good! Then I high-tail it to my room to put on something more enticing....I mean...appropriate.
While I'm changing, a thought niggles at my brain though......rerunning Jayben's story through my mind, I have a sneaky feeling that things are about to get all topsy-turvy, once again! So, in the absence of Cap, I do hope our 2ic gets past whatever is ailing him real fast......
Hummmm....Nope.........That's not it..........Hummmmm....That can't be it....Sigh....I give up here, so what is everyone talking about and are We still in the Special Room???.....Oh well...Think I'll just sit here on the sidelines and watch how AEGram's, Roo's and PTG's story goes along....Looks very interesting by the way......
Blushing slightly because he overheard Angel’s comment, Jayben replied clearly and directly (so Roo’s Amulet would pick up what he said), “You can tell your friend that there are only the two of us. We have no cousins that we know of.”
He hesitated a little longer than necessary with extracting his hand from under Roo’s hand as he started to rise from his seat. “Well……um……uh…….I should be getting back to my dwelling. I would much prefer that I encounter my brother there instead of here. I’m also sure that Miss Katt and Mrs. Fletcher have no desire to see their lovely Tea Room come to harm.”
Pausing a few seconds more, as if he would like to say something to Roo, Jayben turned and headed for the door. Before he took more than a couple of steps, the door was violently shoved open and a very large man burst inside. (No, this was not just a man…..he was more like a raging bull.)
He quickly scanned the room, saw his brother, and crossed the remainder of the distance in what appeared to be lightning speed, grabbed the front of Jayben’s shirt with his left hand, and delivered a powerful blow to his face with his right hand.
In the background, but unheeded, Mrs. Fletcher could be heard saying: TAKE IT OUTSIDE BOYS! I’LL NOT HAVE MY TEA ROOM TURNED INTO TOOTHPICKS!
Phil continued to hold Jayben upright with his left hand as he delivered another equally powerful blow to Jayben’s stomach. Jayben winced from the pain of the two blows, but neither said nor did anything in defense. With anger and venom in his voice, Phil got right in Jayben’s face and yelled: “YOU KNEW!!!
(to be continued)
With difficulty, because of the pain in his jaw, Jayben, replied: “Yes….I knew.”
Phil: Is THAT why you brought me to this strange land so far from our home?
Jayben (still speaking with difficulty): It seemed the prudent thing to do.
Phil: YOU KNEW! And still you didn’t tell me!
Jayben (recovered a bit, and with more strength): After speaking with the Genie, I was certain it would happen; but with the “creators” you just never know when it will happen. It’s taken them 5 years from when they revealed the Castle for them to open “the Islands” so we can even reach her.
Phil: I…….want……to……..SEE…….her! It’s been nearly 15 years! I NEED to see her…..N-O-W! ……Not tomorrow, not next month, not next year……NOW!
(Jayben has now fully recovered, but he remains motionless in Phil’s grasp as he replies): She is currently not able to be seen.
Phil: And just WHAT do you mean by that? The owl told me that he saw her!
Jayben: It is true. The Polar Owl was released at the same time. (By the way, my Snowy Owl is exceedingly glad that his cousin is finally free from the Tower Top.) Because you were his owner, I knew Polar Owl would search as long as it took until he found you. I just thought it would take him longer…. or you longer to find me.
Before Phil could answer, Jayben put his hands on Phil’s left hand and gently released his hold. He suggested that they sit down so he could give a full explanation.
(to be continued)
As he sat down, Phil’s anger slowly turned to frustration, then desperation. He said, “I don’t care what happened. ….I don’t care how it happened….I just need to see her. I need to be with her. Please. ….. Take me to where she is.” He then placed his hands on either side of his head, entwined his hair, and bent his head down between them in defeat.
Jayben: She’s different now. She’s been under the spell and imprisoned in the Food Stall for so long that she may not even know you. She remains beautiful, but her wings are mostly black now from sorrow and age. That’s why she’s called “Midnight Butterfly.” …….Players want her from the Food Stall so they can use her to open the Dreamcatcher in the Ice Hall. Once they get what they need from the Dreamcatcher, she flies back to the Food Stall for when the next Player comes. …..We cannot collect items from within the Food Stall ourselves, but we can be nearby for when a Player enters. Players have a better chance of getting her when it’s close to midnight, so that’s the best time for us to be there. It’s nearly suppertime, so I suggest we see what Mrs. Fletcher has on her menu tonight.
Phil: I’m not hungry……………
Jayben: Don’t you remember from our youth that you always eat when it’s available because you never know when will be the next meal?
Jayben then asked Mrs. Fletcher what she was serving that evening. He also asked if there was sufficient for two more.
(……and now, we wait for midnight)
As I was about to say something, I am shut down by the pain of a sharp swift blow to my shins.
This could only have come from Roo Roo so I move nearer to whack her back with my broom.
It is at this moment that a streak of jet black lightning hurtles though the door as my owl is projected through it at a considerable rate of knots.
It is holding a pot in its claws which is far too heavy for its safety and acting as its momentum as my owl zooms on into the kitchen where it manages to deposit its load.
Miss Katzz has been briefed via her amulet as to its contents and quickly catches the pot before all Opel’s healing potion is spilled over her pristine floor.
In the meantime, my owl is behaving very strangely. As far as I can gather from my crow it is acting as though it is scared stiff of something which is following it!
Then I get the image of the largest snowy white owl I have ever seen which is tracking it, obviously for food!
But the Tea Room wards are all in place and active. Nothing ill can possibly come in.
This is why I am not overconcerned with this strange but very large woman/man appearing and telling us her/his tale.
But before I can say or do anything an enormous bewiskered ogre appears through the front door and descends on our visitor like a whirling dervish!
This is all too much and I am wishing I was back in my hospital cot.
Why on earth could I not have said I was too ill to come down?
To this scene before me?
But I remind myself that I am the 2ic of the group and so it is my duty to be polite and offer some refreshment.
Once they have stopped battering each other to death.
I look around me and see three if not four pairs of wide-open eyes and saucer shaped mouths as the others follow the action between the two visitors.
I note that there are a few twinkles in a least one pair of them!
I also take note that I have not understood a word the two giants have said!
More importantly I have not yet relayed any of this information to the Cap’n
This I must do forthwith.
I reach The Tea Room and am about to open it when I am dive bombed by a hugemungus white Owl that just about rips my ear off.
Never seeing this Owl before I draw my Sai and am ready to make stew out of it when it fly's to the top of my thinking tree.
Noise coming from inside I put aside that crazy Owl and fling open the door Sai still drawn.
#$%^&()_+_)(*&^%$#@!@#$%^&*()_ what in tar nation is going on here??
Again can I NOT leave you alone and expect YOU NOT TO GET IN CHIT??
I see two huge men sitting with Roo Roo ,, PTG and Mrs Fletcher over by Charlie's chair with a*** what the heck is going on look on her face**
Where is Angel??
Come on speak up what is going on here AGAIN ??
I swear this better good ** I look squarely at PTG and ROO ROO ** you do remember I am on an urgent mission with The Golden Queen over at The Main Camp so this pulling me away better be for a good reason.
SPEAK UP NOW
Jayben was the first to recover from the Captain’s” inburst” and outburst. He had ASSUMED that the Captain was being kept aware of the goings on via his open Amulet. If he had been listening, the Captain would have realized that nothing was out of control nor was it necessary for him to interrupt his mission with the Golden Queen in the Main Camp.
With grace and aplomb, Jayben rose from his chair and approached the Captain. “My good man,” he said. “If you had been listening through your Amulet (and you must have heard SOMETHING for you to even be here), you would have heard the entire story as I related it to PTG and Roo.
“You would know that my brother Phil – sitting at the table over there – and I came here many years ago in search of Phil’s wife who had been placed under a spell and taken in retaliation when we encountered an evil man in a cave long ago. Everyone in this room – you included – met Phil a few months ago when the Tea Room was recommended to him as a good eating establishment.
“He currently looks a bit disheveled.” (looking directly to PTG) “But he certainly is not an ogre as some may think. He’s been searching for me because he has just learned that I know the location of his wife.
“You have also met me on several occasions; however, you have never seen the man standing before you. Again, had you been listening, you would already know that I have been known to you as Agnes (PTG’s Godmother) and as a powerful Mage (using several different shapes because I could not safely use my own image). It is that true image you now see before you.
“Although you see a man standing here, make no mistake about who I AM and what I CAN DO. If you have further questions, you can either replay your Amulet or sit down and ask your questions --- in…a….calm…..and….civilized….manner--- OR you can reap the consequences.
“My brother and I have plans to discuss for this evening. Plans that need to be carried out this evening – WITHOUT INTERFERENCE……He also needs to find a place where he can clean up because – if we are lucky ….. if we are very fortunate…..he will once again see his wife after them being parted for 15 years.”
At that point, Jayben turned his back on the Captain and returned to the table to continue his conversation with his brother.
Not to be deterred, the Captain retorted that he didn’t take kindly to a dressing down, let alone in front of his crew. As Jayben walked away, the Captain followed while still berating the brothers as well as threatening to toss them out on their ears.
Phil started to get up from the table. The look in his eyes was no longer of sorrow, but pure rage. Jayben calmly raised his hand toward Phil and said, “I can manage this one little brother.”
Without turning around, Jayben muttered, “Zip it.” ----Instantly, the Captain’s mouth became a zipper and was zipped shut. A look of horror came across his face as he touched his mouth with his hand. Phil said, “That’s gotta hurt, bro.”
With a wink at Roo, Jayben replied, “Nah…..it’ll revert back when we walk out the door. ….. Which reminds me. We need to get you cleaned up so we can be on our way. Do you still have that upstairs apartment in Kaley’s Fancy Goods?”
When Phil nodded affirmatively, Jayben said, “Good. We have just enough time for you to shower, shave and change clothes. I wish we could also do something about your hair, but there’ll be no barbers available at this time of night.”
The brothers left the Tea Room with Phil protesting that there was absolutely nothing wrong with his hair. As soon as they crossed the threshold, the Captain’s mouth returned to normal – complete with a cursing string that caused all the women, and even PTG, to place their hands over their ears. He stomped to the door, flung it open, and yelled after the men: “Don’t think you’ve seen or heard the last of this!!!!”